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Hawaii flags to fly at half-staff to honor Tongan king

By Star-Advertiser and Associated Press


Gov. Neil Abercrombie ordered that the state flag be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday in memory of the late King George Tupou V of Tonga.   

The South Pacific nation will be holding funeral and burial ceremonies March 26-27, according to the governor's office.

Tupou died March 18 at a Hong Kong hospital at age 63. The king had a liver transplant last year and suffered other health problems, according to Tongan media reports.

Tupou had reigned over the island nation of 106,000 since September 2006, after the death of his father, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

Abercrombie expressed his condolences to the people of Tonga.

"King George Tupou V upon taking the throne in 2006 championed a more open system of government, advocating for technological improvements, introducing a more open economy, and pioneering a process of peaceful democratization," he said in a statement released Friday.

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